The State of SMB IT
SMBs are willing to make strategic IT investments even in the most challenging of economic times.
There's a perception that small-to-medium (SMB) organizations are laggards when it comes to IT. But a new survey of 1,500 IT professionals who work for SMB organizations that was conducted by Spiceworks, a provider of systems management software, finds almost the exact opposite to be the case.
In addition to being pretty far along the curve in terms of virtualization adoption, usage of cloud computing services and tablet PCs is relatively high. And while most of them don't appear to be too excited about the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon, there does seem to be some grudging acceptance of the fact that it's taking place with or without their support.
But perhaps most significant, says Adam Weinroth, executive director for vendor marketing for Spiceworks, is that the number of application categories for SMB organizations now relying on virtualization is up dramatically. It indicates that there is an increasing level of sophistication on SMB IT organizations that is helping to drive the hiring of additional IT staff, says Weinroth.
What all this amounts to is that, when it comes to IT, SMB organizations are much less reactive than they used to be. In fact, many of them now have a better understanding of how to use IT to compete more effectively than companies that have significantly more resources at their disposal. As a result, the survey makes it pretty clear that SMB organizations are willing to increase their investments in IT as a percentage of their overall budget. It also shows that while hardware is still the largest investment they make in IT as a percentage of the overall budget, hardware doesn't nearly consume as large a percentage of the budget as it once did.
All of this would seem to indicate that there is a great leveling starting to take place in terms of how effectively smaller companies are using IT to compete against larger companies. Not only is it making them more nimble, but it allows organizations that typically have a lot fewer people to get a lot more done than companies two or three times their size.